Tea vendor on India-Pak border dreams of truce, hopes to serve free tea to visitors

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By Citizen journalist Ashish

Ashok Kumar is in the business of serving tea for over last one decade. But ever since he has set his shop on the RS Pura-Suchetgarh road near Octroi post he has set his eyes on the visitors from across the border and is nurturing a secret desire to serve refreshing tea to regular visitors on their routine visit to this side of the border.

“Mera sapna hai ki ek din dono deshon ke beech samjhuta ho jayega aur aam admi aasani se border ke aar paar aa ja sakega. Us din mein sab ko muft mei chai pilaunga”,Ashok Kumar said sharing his secret desire.”I am chasing a dream.One day i hope borders will be made irrelevant and their will be a pact between the two countries to take confidence building measures and allow travelers and general people to visit each other via this Sialkote-Suchetgarh route”, he adds.

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In 2004 when the road link between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was thrown open people living here had also dreamt of traveling on this road and visit Sialkote.
In the last nine years the two neighboring countries have seen many ups and downs and witnessed tensions but since then the trade route has not been closed down even though the trade was affected when tensions escalted but after parleys it was thrown open to carry out the trade.

Like wise Suchetgarh-Sialkote was considered a  traditional trade route and large number of travelers dotted this route in pre indendence era  to visit the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Each day when Ashok Kumar sets up his modest shop he sends a silent prayer and hopes to fulfill his dream at the earliest.